Harbingers of failure?

Old Dec 27, 15, 8:29 pm
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Harbingers of failure?

http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/12/certain-customers-spell-doom-for-new-products/

A recent paper in the Journal of Marketing Research has identified a group of customers whose support for a product is a “harbinger of failure,” a signal that the product will eventually flop. “Increased sales of a new product to some customers can actually be a strong signal of future failure,” researchers write. So who are these people?
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Old Dec 27, 15, 8:48 pm
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Usually educated consumers.
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Old Dec 27, 15, 9:49 pm
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Perhaps chasing low-end customers? As sacrificing too much margin to appeal to their price points implies overcapacity, and an eventual collapse in pricing power for the higher-end stuff?

For instance, it could be argued that the culture of freely passing out upgrades and making the Elite statuses accessible to lower-end clientele has significantly degraded the value of the program for the true high-value customers. To the point where AC has been forced into severe discounting and even capacity reduction to fill J.

IMHO, AC should have started the AQD regime years ago, or at least done something to ensure the program didn't provide disproportionate benefits to long-haul passengers at the expense of the high-margin short-mid haul business customers. AC treated students who returned to HKG from YYZ 3X a year on discount tickets better than they treated their domestic business customers who were buying 40, 50 segments a year.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by pitz View Post
Perhaps chasing low-end customers? As sacrificing too much margin to appeal to their price points implies overcapacity, and an eventual collapse in pricing power for the higher-end stuff?

For instance, it could be argued that the culture of freely passing out upgrades and making the Elite statuses accessible to lower-end clientele has significantly degraded the value of the program for the true high-value customers. To the point where AC has been forced into severe discounting and even capacity reduction to fill J.

IMHO, AC should have started the AQD regime years ago, or at least done something to ensure the program didn't provide disproportionate benefits to long-haul passengers at the expense of the high-margin short-mid haul business customers. AC treated students who returned to HKG from YYZ 3X a year on discount tickets better than they treated their domestic business customers who were buying 40, 50 segments a year.
FYI the AC fare from yul/yyz to HKG is approx. $2000+ more expensive with AC compared to AF, KLM, BR and JAL. AC is not discounting anything. It's J class product is consistently more expensive than other better quality airlines. It is why I cut back to next to nothing this year.I saved $2200 on my current asia flight by not flying AC. Win win for everyone. I received a better quality product, cool gifts like pyjamas, slippers and an awesome toiletry kit along with superior F&B and baggage handling, along with an even higher flight safety rating and AC was able to sell my seat to someone who doesn't mind a crappy product but gets excited with aeroplane points.
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Old Dec 29, 15, 1:43 pm
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HO HUM....more crap about AC failing as they make even more money, buy new efficient aircraft and fly new exciting routes with full planes. Harbingers of failure are an ever decreasing number of people who insist on being negative about a product. .0001% of the customer base is not going to bring an airline down economically.
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Old Dec 29, 15, 5:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Hello again View Post
HO HUM....more crap about AC failing as they make even more money, buy new efficient aircraft and fly new exciting routes with full planes. Harbingers of failure are an ever decreasing number of people who insist on being negative about a product. .0001% of the customer base is not going to bring an airline down economically.
If that was true they would honor discounted flight passes.
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Old Dec 30, 15, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer View Post
FYI the AC fare from yul/yyz to HKG is approx. $2000+ more expensive with AC compared to AF, KLM, BR and JAL.
This statement is a combination of false, misleading, and irrelevant.
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Old Dec 30, 15, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer View Post
FYI the AC fare from yul/yyz to HKG is approx. $2000+ more expensive with AC compared to AF, KLM, BR and JAL. .
Spreading misinformation again?

Random date in January. AC is $5020.23 and BR is $4,790.63

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Old Dec 30, 15, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
Spreading misinformation again?

Random date in January. AC is $5020.23 and BR is $4,790.63

The cheapest published base fares from GDS:
AY 2670
OZ 3000
TK 3099
HU 3200
OZ 3300
UA 3320
DL 3320
AC 3320
NH 3320
RJ 3326
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Old Dec 31, 15, 12:49 am
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Originally Posted by zorn View Post
This statement is a combination of false, misleading, and irrelevant.
I was addressing the point that AC had lowballed its HKG fares to chase a low end market segment. I stated that it had not.


Why do you dismiss my position? I fly the TPAC regularly and I know what the fares are. Why not look at the fares. Let's take March departure with April return. YYZ-HKG in business class for comparable flight times.
Hainan (5 star airline) $3200
Eva - $5080
JAL- $4780
KLM- $5450
FinnAir - $4300
Air Canada $6922

Air Canada – Flight 15 (business) 15h 25m
10:00 Sun, 27 Mar YYZ Toronto, ON, Canada
13:25 Mon, 28 Mar HKG Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Air Canada – Flight 16 (business) 15h 00m
15:10 Sun, 10 Apr HKG Hong Kong, Hong Kong
18:10 Sun, 10 Apr YYZ Toronto, ON, Canada


Oh wait, you do have a point. Hainan is 50% less. That's half the airfare. My mistake. A 5 Star superior airline known for its quality is significantly less expensive than AC. I got it wrong, Now I can see why you dismissed my comment, right? For that I do apologize. Air Canada fares can be twice as expensive in business class.

Now, if I want to play with indirect routings and layovers, I might knock off $500-$1000 from the AC flight, but that will get me AB 320 service to YVR and of course the world renowned craptacular AC onboard service with its world famous AC hospitality. With luck maybe I can have AC employees sitting in the cabin to extol the virtues of the airline and its belligerent and confrontational cabin crew who can try and move me from my seat because one of the FA's friends on a complimentary flight is in the cabin. (I just loved how the FA tried to put me in the J class seat next to the lavs because her pal had decided to take my seat - Oh yea baby, so right. You go girl.)

That AC premium product is sooooooooooo worth the cost difference, right? What does it for you, the extra meal offerings hidden in the seat creases? The aromatic lavs? The surly service? The ultimate offering of some of the worst wines from the discount bin at the LCBO? The high sodium, high fat content food? Please tell me what's the key purchase factor for you.


BTW in discount economy, AC's lowest fare is approx. $1300 vs China Eastern at $850 and Hainan at $990

Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
Spreading misinformation again?

Random date in January. AC is $5020.23 and BR is $4,790.63

If I cherry picked dates and routes like you, I could probably drive down the airfares I found on a basic search. Why not look at the other dates for even more examples of AC's inflated TPAC pricing?
Better yet, why not look at cities other than YYZ? AC pummels the fares. You go ahead and roll your eyes. Those of us who make these TPACs and pay for it ourselves are sensitive to costs and to routings. I know that AC charges $2000+ compared to BR, SIN, CX and KLM to fly into BKK or SIN or KUL. I just flew in and out and in so I am well aware of what the fares were. Out of respect to your decision to remove yourself from the forum, no need to reply.

Last edited by tcook052; Dec 31, 15 at 1:07 am Reason: merge separate posts
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Old Dec 31, 15, 1:59 am
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While this fare discussion also appeared in at least 2 other threads, I'll add....

I was looking at the following routing YYZ-HKG-"somewhere in Asia"-YYZ
(yes, I am being purposely vague)

Since the multi-city tool on AC.com will not allow me to even attempt this, I called in. For a variety of dates a couple of months out (and avoiding school breaks and holidays in multiple countries), I was quoted well over $7,000 by the AC agent.

But, if I buy YYZ-HKG, returning from "somewhere in Asia"-YYZ, the fare is thousands less and I can buy the HKG-"somewhere in Asia" for lunch money on a couple of carriers (even avoiding those I might not be keen on).

Agent advised that it was the "other" carrier that caused the high price.

Ah, well ok then. Since that other carrier is not *A and since I find it mildly insane to pay an additional $3,000+ for the ticket, I can play TA and book the other carrier myself.

There are there multiple options out there. A fare that might be significantly less on AC or AF/KL/NH/BR/CX etc on one set of dates, can be completely different on others.

I spent a couple of hours looking at a variety of dates over a 2-month period with at least 6 different carriers, 3 alliances and some non-aligned.

For those like me who self-fund, it matters a great deal. I'm sure corporate TAs have their rules, but when you have an employer who pays, there is a big difference in how this matters.

The one tiny thing many on FT seem to forget sometimes is we all have choices. Some choices come with nice benefits, others lead to less than satisfactory experiences.

And hey, HAPPY 2016


Speaking of choices



.

Last edited by 24left; Dec 31, 15 at 2:04 am
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Old Dec 31, 15, 3:37 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Hello again View Post
HO HUM....more crap about AC failing as they make even more money, buy new efficient aircraft and fly new exciting routes with full planes. Harbingers of failure are an ever decreasing number of people who insist on being negative about a product. .0001% of the customer base is not going to bring an airline down economically.
If you could read you would have found that this article had nothing to do with failing businesses. Rather it noted research that suggests certain purchasers, typically early adopters, can sometimes indicate products that will not go over well with the general public.

Given the oft repeated claim that FTers are completely different that "normal" flyers, it seemed there may be potential that some FTers might indicate less than successful products.
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Old Dec 31, 15, 6:24 am
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Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer View Post
I was addressing the point that AC had lowballed its HKG fares to chase a low end market segment. I stated that it had not.


Why do you dismiss my position? I fly the TPAC regularly and I know what the fares are. Why not look at the fares. Let's take March departure with April return. YYZ-HKG in business class for comparable flight times.
Hainan (5 star airline) $3200
Eva - $5080
JAL- $4780
KLM- $5450
FinnAir - $4300
Air Canada $6922

Air Canada – Flight 15 (business) 15h 25m
10:00 Sun, 27 Mar YYZ Toronto, ON, Canada
13:25 Mon, 28 Mar HKG Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Air Canada – Flight 16 (business) 15h 00m
15:10 Sun, 10 Apr HKG Hong Kong, Hong Kong
18:10 Sun, 10 Apr YYZ Toronto, ON, Canada


Oh wait, you do have a point. Hainan is 50% less. That's half the airfare. My mistake. A 5 Star superior airline known for its quality is significantly less expensive than AC. I got it wrong, Now I can see why you dismissed my comment, right? For that I do apologize. Air Canada fares can be twice as expensive in business class.

Now, if I want to play with indirect routings and layovers, I might knock off $500-$1000 from the AC flight, but that will get me AB 320 service to YVR and of course the world renowned craptacular AC onboard service with its world famous AC hospitality. With luck maybe I can have AC employees sitting in the cabin to extol the virtues of the airline and its belligerent and confrontational cabin crew who can try and move me from my seat because one of the FA's friends on a complimentary flight is in the cabin. (I just loved how the FA tried to put me in the J class seat next to the lavs because her pal had decided to take my seat - Oh yea baby, so right. You go girl.)

That AC premium product is sooooooooooo worth the cost difference, right? What does it for you, the extra meal offerings hidden in the seat creases? The aromatic lavs? The surly service? The ultimate offering of some of the worst wines from the discount bin at the LCBO? The high sodium, high fat content food? Please tell me what's the key purchase factor for you.


BTW in discount economy, AC's lowest fare is approx. $1300 vs China Eastern at $850 and Hainan at $990



If I cherry picked dates and routes like you, I could probably drive down the airfares I found on a basic search. Why not look at the other dates for even more examples of AC's inflated TPAC pricing?
Better yet, why not look at cities other than YYZ? AC pummels the fares. You go ahead and roll your eyes. Those of us who make these TPACs and pay for it ourselves are sensitive to costs and to routings. I know that AC charges $2000+ compared to BR, SIN, CX and KLM to fly into BKK or SIN or KUL. I just flew in and out and in so I am well aware of what the fares were. Out of respect to your decision to remove yourself from the forum, no need to reply.

Are you seriously comparing Hainan to AC? (read: Not a chance in hell ill fly them) And having done 6 TPACs in the last 6 months I will gladly challenge you on BR vs AC J fares. There is not a 2000$ premium. Pay attention to details. BR flights are consistently around the same price. AC not so much, but 2K? Gimme a break.


Last edited by superangrypenguin; Dec 31, 15 at 6:42 am
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Old Dec 31, 15, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by KenHamer View Post
http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/12/certain-customers-spell-doom-for-new-products/
“Increased sales of a new product to some customers can actually be a strong signal of future failure,” researchers write. So who are these people?

Not the people who bought a billion iPhones. iPads. iPods. iMacs.
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Old Jan 1, 16, 12:00 am
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Originally Posted by 24left View Post
While this fare discussion also appeared in at least 2 other threads, I'll add....

I was looking at the following routing YYZ-HKG-"somewhere in Asia"-YYZ
(yes, I am being purposely vague)

Since the multi-city tool on AC.com will not allow me to even attempt this, I called in. For a variety of dates a couple of months out (and avoiding school breaks and holidays in multiple countries), I was quoted well over $7,000 by the AC agent.

But, if I buy YYZ-HKG, returning from "somewhere in Asia"-YYZ, the fare is thousands less and I can buy the HKG-"somewhere in Asia" for lunch money on a couple of carriers (even avoiding those I might not be keen on).

Agent advised that it was the "other" carrier that caused the high price.
The problem is most likely a discount fare on AC not allowing combination with the "other" carrier and thus you are stuck shelling out big time for a higher fare on the TPAC leg to get it all on one ticket. This is usually what happens when adding a short intra-Asia or intra-Europe leg drastically increases the price of a TATL or TPAC itinerary.
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